The Flickr project for our Introduction to Digital Cultures class was a fun opportunity for my group members and I to get to know one another. Interacting with my classmates in this fashion is a unique atmosphere that few schools can match as well as Lawrence University.Initially, our group contacted one another via e-mails, Facebook, and Twitter to arrange meeting times. Our group met one day to conceptualize an actual story for the Flickr project.Upon choosing the idea of Grand Theft Auto among other inspirations, our group collaborated on when and where to have our photo shoot and who the characters would be.Other necessary items in this meeting included deciding who had a camera and our transportation for taking pictures photographed on location. The second meeting we had the photo shoot, which consisted of the majority of the photos seen in our Flickr project. Each member of our group willingly and cordially helped in taking photos and suggesting logistics for the photos themselves. The third and final meeting our group took the first and last pictures seen in the slideshow. In addition, we edited all photos while adding the GTA graphics from my ownership of the GTA 4 game.
Our group felt as though having only five to ten pictures to tell a story was short. We wanted to include more elements from the actual game play itself but in the end we felt that we captured the most vital characteristics from the game and probably also the lesser risqué ones too. Basically, the story starts in the real world with Sydney. A world that includes many stresses and real life pains of school, family and life in general. Grand Theft Auto is a video game that provides an avenue of living in a fantasy world that is not revolutionary for its time but is very entertaining for the adult user. Essentially, the user is allowed to commit serious crimes without having to face the repercussions found in the real world. I myself play as the main culprit in the Grand Theft Auto: Midwest City version. A unique aspect of the GTA games is that many users find fulfillment playing the game without completing missions.Many like to find the first vehicle in sight. Carjack it by any means necessary whether it is parked or has passengers in the vehicle. Killing random people in the streets, robbing banks and committing other various crimes, while also finding and using an array of weapons on the map. So I find the first car I see to steal. I kill Dyllan with a crowbar after pulling him out of the car. I always found it amusing when the passengers in the passenger’s seat of the jumped out while the car was moving. After driving around looking for the Chase Bank, I enter with my handgun and rob the establishment. After a whole night’s worth of committing too many felonies, Sydney realizes she must end her fun for the time being and finish her homework.
Flickr is an easy to use social medium and tool that enables Internet users to interact with pictures. Much like the social media seen in websites like Facebook and Twitter, Flickr is a website that is structured through Yahoo! and only requires an easily accessible and commonly used Yahoo! account. The content and usability of Flicker is user friendly and self-explanatory. I was exceptionally impressed by the ease in editing captions and tags.They are easily edited by clicking on the actual text which brings up a cursor to re-type.Uploading the pictures was also simple as our group was able to upload the pictures from Sydney’s computer desktop to the site itself. The tags in our slideshow can help users of Flickr find photos by searching Grand Theft Auto themes. Although the game itself is popular, other examples like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings contain a much larger fan base of creating user generated content.
However, one can find a few examples such as ours.
Flickr is absolutely an effective tool in creating user-generated content and sharing that content with others. This past summer, my mother and my sister were using the Internet to help plan for my sister’s wedding. Besides using e-mail for obvious reasons, both my mother and sister used Flickr and sights like it to find wedding pictures that Flickr users have uploaded. These pictures include examples of trendy fashions and show examples of good and bad designs of wedding outfits of the bridal and groom parties. An example shown below is a picture of the outdoor gazebo where my sister got married. She was able to use this photo as a means of getting a picture of what her wedding day might be like at Woodlawn Manor.
This picture is of her husband standing in front of the same gazebo from Woodlawn Manor.
Rebecca Blood’s standpoint on the use of Flickr identifies the rising concept of photojournalism. I like to think that the way Blood illustrates the idea of using tags in Flickr is like using the hashtag in Twitter. She provides an example of the power of photojournalism. Footage of the French employment riots provides internet users with breaking news. Once word got around about these riots, one could search on Flickr and find eyewitnesses views of the action. While these photos can be found in the interesting category of Flickr photos, my sister could find ideas related to her wedding. The interesting photos provides the latest trends. However, I felt as though while the slideshows created by my fellow classmates told fictional stories and that they could be interpreted as ideas of photojournalism, these slideshows can also be used for fun in creating stories and providing fan support for our interests like our group found commonly in playing Grand Theft Auto video games.